THIS WEEK IN ALASKA ANCHORAGE WOMEN’S BASKETBALL...
Thur., Nov. 30 — 5:15 pm AST — Alaska Airlines Center — Anchorage, AK
Central Washington (3-3, 0-0 GNAC) at #2 Alaska Anchorage (6-0, 0-0 GNAC)
Sat., Dec. 2 — 7 pm AST — Alaska Airlines Center — Anchorage, AK
Northwest Nazarene (4-1, 0-0 GNAC [11/30 @UAF] at #2 Alaska Anchorage
TV: Both games live throughout Alaska on GCI Channel 907 (hd) and GCI Ch. 1 (sd)
LIVE VIDEOSTREAM & STATS: Both games at GNAC.tv
TICKETS: $10 at the door, online at alaskaairlinescenter.com, or by calling 907-786-1562 ... discounts apply for UAA staff/faculty, alumni, senior (60+), youth (3-18) and military ... groups of 10 or more can purchase in bulk for $6 per ticket ... UAA students free with valid WolfCard ... more information at GoSeawolves.com.
UAA PROBABLE STARTERS (2017-18 stats)
G—Yazmeen Goo, 5-10, So. (7.2 ppg, 1.8 rpg, 3.7 apg, 2.7 spg, .458 FG, .690 FT)
G—Tara Thompson, 5-7, Jr. (4.3 ppg, 3.0 rpg, 2.3 apg)
G—Kian McNair, 5-5, Jr. (7.5 ppg, 2.5 rpg, 2.2 apg, 3.8 spg)
F—Shelby Cloninger, 6-0, Sr. (12.0 ppg, 6.3 rpg, 1.3 apg, .500 FG, .478 3FG, .813 FT)
F—Hannah Wandersee, 6-1, Jr. (15.5 ppg, 7.0 rpg, 2.5 apg, 2.2 bpg, .591 FG, 14-14 FT)
KNOW THE FOES: Central Washington has gone 1-3 against fellow NCAA Div. II competition thus far, earning a 70-55 victory over Cal State LA in its season opener and suffering losses to Hawaii Pacific, Colorado Mines and Metro State ... the Wildcats are led by Sadie Mensing (13.3 ppg, 4.3 rpg, 2.0 apg, .875 FT) and Jasmin Edwards (13.2 ppg, 3.0 rpg, 5.5 apg, .522 3FG) ... Northwest Nazarene has knocked off CCAA foes Stanislaus State, CSU Monterey Bay and CSULA, while splitting against Pac West foes Biola (67-64 loss) and Point Loma (89-82 win) ... the Nighthawks, from Nampa, Idaho, are led by McKenna Walker (13.4 ppg, 4.0 rpg, 1.8 spg, .480 FG) and Lexi Tubbs (13.2 ppg, 7.6 rpg, .458 3FG).
vs CWU: UAA leads 27-15 overall, 15-7 in Anchorage
Last Meeting: UAA 69-48 (2/11/17 at CWU)
Streak: UAA 9 / Notes: UAA has won 20 of the last 21 meetings ... CWU’s lone win this decade came 74-64, Jan. 19, 2013 in Anchorage ... UAA has won four straight and 11 of the last 12 at home ... UAA leads 22-10 in GNAC meetings (since 2001-02) and 9-1 under head coach Ryan McCarthy (since 2012-13) … teams have played at least once per season since 1998-99 … teams played three times from 1979-81 and did not meet again until 1997.
vs NNU: UAA leads 23-14 overall, 14-4 in Anchorage
Last Meeting: UAA 78-70 (2/9/17 at NNU)
Streak: UAA 5 / Notes: UAA has won the last two meetings at home since NNU earned a 79-64 upset in the first-ever GNAC game at the Alaska Airlines Center, Jan. 1, 2015; that game marked UAA’s only regular-season loss that season as well ... UAA leads 20-12 in GNAC regular-season meetings and 7-4 under head coach Ryan McCarthy … teams have met three times in postseason (once in NCAA Tourney, twice in GNAC Tourney) … series started in 2000-01 when both teams were in the Pacific West Conference.
SHOOTOUT CHAMPS ... FOREVER: The Seawolves earned the program’s seventh GCI Great Alaska Shootout title in the 38th and final edition of the women’s basketball tournament against all Div. I competition, Nov. 21 & 23 at the Alaska Airlines Center ... UAA earned a 69-59 win over Maryland Eastern Shore in the opener as Sr. F Shelby Cloninger tallied a career-high 19 points (6-8 FG, 5-6 3FG, 2-2 FT), 7 rebounds and 2 steals, along with 16 points (4-7 3FG), 5 rebounds, 3 assists and 2 blocks from Sr. G Kaitlyn Hurley ... Fr. G Sala Langi added 9 points (3-4 FG) and Jr. G Kian McNair had 6 assists and 7 steals -- the most for a Seawolf since the 2016-17 season opener -- as the Seawolves racked up 14 swipes on 16 Hawk turnovers ... the title game against Tulsa was a discretionary exhibition (meaning the result counts for Tulsa but not UAA), but UAA fought hard nonetheless to earn a 59-53 victory behind 14 points, 7 rebounds and 2 assists from Jr. F/C Hannah Wandersee ... the Seawolves erased a 49-41 deficit with 6 minutes remaining thanks to 13 points, including the go-ahead three-pointer, from Cloninger, and clutch shooting from Sr. G Tara Thompson (11 points, 3-6 3FG) ... So. PG Yazmeen Goo had 6 points (6-8 FT), 4 assists, 4 steals and just one turnover as she and Wandersee earned all-tournament honors, while Cloninger was named the Shootout’s Most Outstanding Player.
SEAWOLVES AT THE SHOOTOUT: In 1990, the Seawolves became the first Div. II women’s team to win a tournament against all-Div. I competition, repeating their feat at the 2003, 2006, 2007, 2008, 2009 and 2017 Shootouts ... the first title came when the tournament included eight teams and was known as the Northern Lights Invitational; the subsequent championships came under a 4-team format …the Seawolves went 38-56 all-time in the tournament and 18-20 since it was reborn as the Shootout in 1999 ... the Seawolves own 38 regular-season wins against 34 different NCAA Div. I programs after beating Maryland Eastern Shore in this year’s Shootout.
WINNING WAYS: UAA has won 35 straight regular-season games (including GNAC Tournament) against NCAA Div. II opponents since falling 67-66 to Simon Fraser in the 2015-16 home finale ... the Seawolves are also currently on program-best streaks of 22 consecutive road wins and 18 straight conference road wins ... UAA is a combined 61-3 – including 28-1 on the road – in GNAC regular-season and tournament games over the last three seasons ... at 103-7 (.936), the Seawolves have the most victories and the best winning percentage in NCAA Div. II since 2014-15 ... the 2017-18 Seawolves are seeking the program’s 12th consecutive winning season and 11th NCAA Tournament berth in 12 years ... UAA has gone a combined 158-14 (.919) in the last 11 seasons on its home courts ... with a 4-0 mark thus far this season, UAA has won 40 straight regular-season, non-conference games against Div. II opponents, with the last loss coming in Ryan McCarthy’s Seawolf coaching debut, Nov. 9, 2012 (Colo. Mines) ... the Seawolves have led the nation in steals per game for four straight seasons and are already averaging a superior figure with 16.8 spg through the first five games.
WANDERSEE AWAKENING: A reserve in 66 of 71 career games before this year, Jr. C Hannah Wandersee has entered the starting 5 and delivered in a big way, ranking 5th in the GNAC in scoring (15.4 ppg), leading the league in FT% (1.000, 14-14) and blocks (2.2 bpg), and ranking 3rd in FG% (.591) ... UAA’s leading rebounder with 7.0 rpg (12th in GNAC), she collected GNAC co-Player of the Week for her efforts against Hawaii Pacific and Cal State LA, earned the Seawolf Hoops Classic Most Outstanding Player award the following week, and made the GCI Great Alaska Shootout All-Tournament Team ... the Kodiak product had her first career double-double against a Div. II opponent with her career-high 24 points and career-high-tying 11 rebounds against Hawaii Pacific, and she has twice already equaled her career-best 4 assists ... with 5-of-5 FT shooting against HNU, she reached the minimum 100 attempts to make UAA’s career list, premiering at No. 1 with her .860 (86-100) accuracy; Wandersee’s other career ranks include 6th in FG% (.531), 11th in blocks per game (0.69) and 12th in blocks (53, needs six more to reach top 10).
TARA TERRIFIC: After coming off the bench in 39 games on UAA’s 2016 NCAA Runner-Up squad as a redshirt freshman, Jr. SG Tara Thompson logged all 32 starts last season and more than doubled her averages, emerging as UAA’s 2nd-leading scorer (8.9 ppg) and an effective rebounder (3.5 rpg) ... the former Dimond Lynx star and 2017-18 GNAC Preseason All-Conference pick led the GNAC and ranked 6th nationally with a .436 3FG%, and ranked 2nd in GNAC and 57th nationally with 2.5 3FGs made per game ... with a .393 career 3FG%, Thompson ranks 7th in UAA and 12th in GNAC history, while her 119 total 3FGs rank 8th on the all-time Seawolf list.
SURE-SHOT SHELBY: Sr. F Shelby Cloninger has proven GNAC coaches correct so far as a GNAC Preseason All-Conference pick, standing as UAA’s 3rd-leading scorer (12.0 ppg) and 2nd-leading rebounder (6.3 rpg), and shooting numbers of .500 overall (10th in GNAC), .478 3FG (5th in GNAC) and .813 FT ... after averaging 13.5 ppg and 6.0 rpg in the wins over HPU and CSULA, Cloninger hit the boards ever harder recently, with at least 7 rebounds in the last three games, including 10 against Western State ... a transfer from North Idaho College after playing at Div. I Utah State, she averaged 8.1 ppg, 4.1 rpg and 1.2 spg in 17.6 minutes per contest in her first season at UAA in 2016-17.
GOO STUFF: As the primary backup to GNAC all-time assists and steals leader Kiki Robertson last season, So. PG Yazmeen Goo still recorded one of the most productive freshman seasons for a point guard in Seawolf history, finishing 2nd in total assists (120), 3rd in apg (4.1), 5th in total steals (50), 6th in spg (1.7) and 7th in FT% (.774) on the program’s rookie lists ... now a starter, Goo has added a scoring element to her game, tying or setting her career high three times already, including 11 points against Western State ... the Bay Area native earned all-tournament honors at both the Seawolf Hoops Classic and the GCI Great Alaska Shootout ... in the early GNAC stats, Goo is ranks 3rd in assist-turnover ratio (2.8), 3rd in steals per game (2.7) and 8th in assists per game (3.7) ... Goo and UAA have also gotten a boost with the return of Sr. SG Kaitlyn Hurley, who missed the second half of last season ... a dangerous scorer from anywhere on the court, Hurley has posted 6.8 ppg, 2.8 rpg and a .360 3FG% thus far, with a season-high 16 points in the win over Div. I Maryland Eastern Shore.
TRANSFER TRAIN’S A-CHUGGIN‘: UAA’s four active transfers have all made an immediate impact, with Sr. G Rodericka Ware (Academy of Art) and Jr. G Kian McNair (Portland State) standing out as all-tourney picks at the Seawolf Hoops Classic ... Ware began her career at Central Arizona College before earning First Team All-Pacific West Conference honors last year with Art U, posting 17.4 ppg, 4.0 apg and a league-leading 2.8 3FGs made per game ... the Lakewood, Wash., native has scored double figures in all five games as a Seawolf and has at least three swipes in every contest she has played, including 19 points and 5 steals against Holy Names ... in 57 games at D-I program Portland State, McNair led the Vikings with 11.3 ppg as a freshman and recorded 18 double-digit scoring efforts ... the Vallejo, Calif., product found her scoring touch with season highs of 14 points (6-12 FG) against Holy Names and 9 points (2-4 FG, 5-6 FT) against Western State, along with 8 total assists and 9 total steals (UAA season-high 6 vs. HNU) ... McNair now leads the GNAC with 3.8 steals per game after swiping seven in the win over Maryland Eastern Shore ... meanwhile, junior-college transfers Sydni Stallworth (2-time 1st Team NJCAA All-American at Pima CC) and Rainey Kuykendall (from 2-time NJCAA national runner-up Trinity Valley CC) have provided a big lift off the bench ... Stallworth is 3rd on the team and 12th in the GNAC with 3.0 apg, dishing a season-high 6 assists against Holy Names, while Kuykendall delivered 10 points (3-6 FG, 4-4 FT), 9 rebounds and 4 blocks in just 25 combined minutes against HNU and Western State.
FELLIN’ FRESH: The future looks bright as UAA’s three true freshmen are already making early contributions, including Pacifica, Calif., product Sala Langi, who ranks third on the team with 4.5 rpg and fourth in steals with 1.3 spg ... former Chugiak High all-state guard Nicole Pinckney tallied 12 points in the Seawolf Hoops Classic and was a key player in UAA’s GCI Great Alaska Shootout title run, while former East High star Tennae Voliva has posted season highs of 5 points and 3 rebounds thus far.
McCARTHY IN CHARGE: Now in his sixth season at UAA and seventh overall as a head coach, Ryan McCarthy has led the Seawolf program to new heights, capturing three straight GNAC regular-season and tournament titles and ascending as high as No. 1 or No. 2 in the national rankings in each of the past three campaigns ... McCarthy earned his second GNAC Coach of the Year honor in the last three seasons in 2016-17 and ‘three-peated’ as the WBCA’s NCAA Div. II West Region Coach of the Year ... in 2016-17, the Anchorage native took UAA to the NCAA Tournament for the fourth straight year (including three straight top-2 regional seeds), posting its second straight 30-win season (30-2) and recording the first 20-0 league record in GNAC history ... the previous season, McCarthy’s crew set an NCAA Div. II record with 38 victories, advancing all the way to the 2016 National Title Game in Indianapolis ... his 2014-15 club claimed what was then the best winning percentage in program history with a 29-2 (.935) mark, sweeping both GNAC titles as well ... McCarthy has led UAA to an improvement in overall wins (17, 19, 29, 38) his first four seasons and has increased the Seawolves’ GNAC victory total every year (11, 12, 17, 18, 20) … playing its up-tempo ‘Mayhem’ style, McCarthy’s 2016-17 crew has also led the nation in steals per game for four straight seasons ... McCarthy sports a head-coaching record of 138-26 (.841) at UAA and 152-39 (.796) overall, having served in an interim capacity at Northwest Nazarene in 2011-12 … McCarthy is assisted by 6th-year associate head coach Shaina Afoa, 1st-year assistant and former Seawolf standout Alysha Devine, and 4th-year volunteer assistant Patrick Flanigin.
2017-18 SEAWOLF INDIVIDUAL HONORS
Preseason All-GNAC Team
GCI Great Alaska Shootout Player of the Game vs Md. Eastern Shore
GCI Great Alaska Shootout Most Outstanding Player
GNAC Player of the Week, Nov. 20-26
Seawolf Hoops Classic All-Tournament Team
GCI Great Alaska Shootout All-Tournament Team
Seawolf Hoops Classic All-Tournament Team
Preseason All-GNAC Team
GNAC co-Player of the Week, Nov. 6-12
Seawolf Hoops Classic Most Outstanding Player
Seawolf Hoops Classic All-Tournament Team